A postindustrial economy is based on tertiary sector production-the provision of services rather than goods-as a primary source of livelihood for workersand profit for owners and corporate shareholders. Tertiary sector production includes a wide range of activities. such as fast-food service. transportation. communication, education. real estate. advertising, sports. and entertainment, As shown in the Census Profiles feature. a majority of U.S. jobs are in tertiary sector employment. as contrasted with primary or secondary sector employment. Several characteristics are central to the postindustrial economy.
1. as the central preoccupation ill the economy. Postindustrial economies are characterized by ideas. and computer software may eventually become the Infrastructure of the future.
2. culture shifts awayfrom /actrmes and toward increased diversification of work seNillgs. the workdtlY, the employee. and the manager. Although many people continue to be employed in traditional workplaces with set workdays. increasing numbers are being affected by layoffs and outsourcing. When other employees are removed. those wor¥rs who remain are often expected to do a variety of tasks in addition to the work they were previously assigned.
3. 71'e conventional boundaries between work and
home (public life and private life) are breached. Cell phones, pagers, (ax machines, laptop computers, and similar products make it possible for people to work around the clock from locations around the globe. Increasing amounts of remote work activity continue to blur the distinction between one's public life and one's private life.
As a manager 1am judged by the statistical reports which come off the computer. Which basically means my crew labor productivity. What else can Ireally distinguish myself by?O.K., it's true, you can over spend your (maintenance and repair] budget,you can have a low fry yield; you can run a dirty store, you can be fired for bothering high school girls. But basically, every Coke spigot is monitored.
Every ketchup squirt is measured. My costs for every item are set. So my crew labor productivity is my main flexibility.... Look, you can't squeeze a McDonald's hamburger any flatter, If you want to' improve your productivity there is nothing for a . manager to squeeze but the crew. (qtd. in Garson, 1989: 33-35)
McDonaldization" is built on many of the ideas and systems of industrial society, including bureaucracy and the assembly line (Ritzer, 2000a). Also, class conflict and poverty may increase rather than decrease in postindustrial societies. Recently, researchers have found that employment in the service sector remains gender segregated and, in some types of work. racially segregated. For example, about half
of all u.s. service occupations (50.2 percent) and sales positions 43.4 percent) are held by women. But even in these ions, women occupy the lower-statusand 10 -n .obs, where there is little chance for advanc.em 0 better-paid positions (Hesse-Biber and Carter. _ l- Domestic service workers are another exam have always been predominantly.